We have kid-sized everything these days. Infant sized bath towels, toddler music, and kids' menus. Why can't a baby use a normal-sized bath towel? I'd say they are much warmer. Why can't kids listen to the radio with mom and dad, enjoying John Legend, the Beatles, and Maroon 5? Why can't kids enjoy a chicken sandwich or a steak, for that matter?
Why can't kids just exist in the normal world?
I found an awesome article (available here) highlighting these things. "In our quest to entertain and appease 24/7, we've become a culture with kid-only smartphone apps, kiddie music piped through our homes and cars, Dora and Baby Einstein streamed nonstop on our flat screens. "
I'd never thought about it. I just assumed these were good things for my kids. But come to think of it, I'd rather they learn to exist in the "real" world. Using normal silverware and cups, listening to a normal radio station, and ordering their own meal.
And what a refreshing realization -- we don't have to keep them occupied constantly!
"Imagination flourishes during those dull moments when you can't rush over to entertain your child. "
I remember plenty of kid-friendly books and activities, BUT that wasn't ALL we did. We went out to nice restaurants, on long road trips for business, and I worked alongside my parents in the yard. There were plenty of times that I just had to go off on my own and figure out something fun to do.
My favorite line: "The fact is, raising mature, worldly, empathetic kids hardly means detaching from them. And it's not about retreating back to the land of seen-and-not-heard. Instead, it's about making them feel like valued members of the household. Because even a 2-year-old can place the napkins on the table while you put the finishing touches on dinner. Chances are, he'll enjoy it -- and so will you."